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Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia 2010 – Redux

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Apologies for not updating the site for a little while folks – we’ve both been very busy with our day jobs. Ed has been clearing the decks before heading over to Italy to cover the Giro d’Italia shortly, and so to get us in the mood we thought you’d enjoy revisiting one of our diary articles from Stage 11 of last year’s race, Giro d’Italia 2010, a 262km haul from Lucera to L’Aquila, when a break of over 50 riders threatened to overturn the race completely…

Giro d’Italia 2010 – Day Six, Simply Surreal

by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson, May 20th 2010

We made sure we were in plenty time for the stage start today – our mission was to get pics of Diquigiovanni’s Cameron Wurf, but Cam didn’t arrive at the sign on before our appointed time of bolting.

Giro d'Italia 2010
The lass that introduces the riders onto the signing on stage, and keeps the crowd enthralled.

We did get some pics of the lovelies that accompany the race – I’m not sure what they do, but who cares?

Giro d'Italia 2010
The podium girls were queuing up to get their picture taken with Martin.

Last night was a little bit of a culinary disaster; we had our hearts set on pasta but ended up with pizza – again.

Martin asked our hostess if she could recommend a good restaurant.

You like fish?‘ she asked, ‘not so much‘ replied Martin.

Ah!‘ she continued and gave him a map and directions.

We got lost – of course – and reached the restaurant after a death march, around 11:00 pm.

Still, the pasta will be good,‘ we told ourselves; there was octopus, squid, salmon, trout, bass – in fact, the contents of the Adriatic, but no pasta.

Ehm… pizza Napoli, per favore,‘ – but the red wine was inexpensive and fruity.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Charlie Wegelius at the sign on this morning.

And to use that old journalistic device – ‘fast forward’ to 20:00 Wednesday.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Spotted whilst having a coffee, this example of the ape is very cool.

Today was another of those moments where we can say; ‘I was there!’

Giro d'Italia 2010
A huge gulley running into the valley.

We were doing the ‘drive the stage thing’ when I received a text from Dan Fleeman, who was monitoring the Cycling News live report of the stage – ‘what about this 50 man break, then?’

We knew nothing of it; there are radio reports of the finales but they’re interspersed with music and endless chatter.

Already there are stories flying around about how such a thing could have happened – the organizers wanted Vino out of pink and set it up, is one.

But more likely is the one that the ‘Capi’ – top men – agreed a truce and were caught out.

Vino is saying that the others placed the onus on him and he called their bluff.

Whatever the truth it was a sensational situation – I can’t remember anything like it.

Well, there was Floyd, but . . .

We settled down on the last climb to watch – we felt it was our duty to give our readers a snap shot of what it was like.

Giro d'Italia 2010
The only person on this section of the climb with us, was a moto cop who was ‘burstin’.

I have to say that it all felt very strange.

There were few fans on the mountain – the stretch of tar we chose we had to ourselves and it was easy to get parked.

The rain was brutal, cold, stinging and so heavy for the first riders that it played havoc with our auto focus.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Steve Cummings did a mountain of work in the break, to lift Wiggins up as high on GC as possible.

The lead group was totally committed, working hard, especially Caisse – they must fancy their chances with Arroyo.

They’ll be thinking that the youngsters like Porte and Agnoli will crack when it goes into the really big mountains, next week.

But Sastre is the big winner – the longer, hotter and harder it is, the better he likes it and whilst his deficit isn’t small, it’s not on Vino or Cuddles.

The gap between the leaders and the Vino group was huge – we made it 14 minutes.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Charlie again, this time after 145 wet and hard miles, with 25 still to go.

Apart from a few stragglers the road was quiet – there was just us, the rain, the thunder and that single song bird I mentioned.

Rubens Bertogliati – with Scarponi and Basso tucked in – lead the Vino group.

They all seemed to be accepting their fate and again it was all so quiet.

In the gruppos it was the same, absolutely no chat and no acknowledgment from the guys we know when we gave them a shout.

As soon as the race was past we high tailed it off the mountain and headed straight to our digs – we needed dry clothes and wi-fi.

As we got closer to the sea, the weather got better and by the time we arrived at our digs, here in Citta Sant’Angelo it was a different world, it didn’t look as if had rained at all.

It was our Pez colleague, Gordan Cameron who gave us the race result, by email – the radio station’s live reports dried up into half baked chat and bad music.

An epic day and such a pity that after we see the stage start today, we head home.

But never fear, we’ll be keeping coverage of the 2010 Giro going to the end.

And did we get pasta, last night? – damn right.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Gnocchi cooked in the jug – beautiful.

Ah well, best wake Martin and tell him about what Floyd has been saying.

A domani.

Martin Williamson
Martin is our Editor, Web site Designer and Manager, and concentrates on photography. He's been involved in cycling for over 42 years and has raced for many of them, having a varied career which includes time trials, road and track racing, and triathlons. Martin has been the Scottish 25 Mile TT and 100 Mile TT Champion, the British Points Race League Champion on the track, and was a prolific winner of time trials in his day, particularly hilly ones like the Tour de Trossachs and the Meldons MTT.

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